Sister launches judicial review claim in bid for sanctions death inquest

Please visit Ms Thompson’s crowdfunding site and help her reach her target.

Her Majesty’s coroner service has been making some extremely strange decisions regarding benefit-related deaths and it seems a judicial review is the only way to make sense of what’s happening.

The sister of a disabled man who died after being left destitute by having his benefits sanctioned has launched a high court legal challenge over a coroner’s refusal to hold an inquest into his death.

David Clapson (pictured), who had diabetes, died in July 2013 as a result of an acute lack of insulin, three weeks after having his jobseeker’s allowance sanctioned.

Because he had no money, he couldn’t afford to pay for electricity that would have kept the fridge where he kept his insulin working, in the height of summer, and he had also run out of food.

An autopsy held after his death found his stomach was empty, and the only food left in his flat in Stevenage was six tea bags, a tin of soup and an out-of-date can of sardines. He had just £3.44 left in his bank account.

But despite the circumstances of his death, and clear links with the sanctions system, no inquest was ever held, even though DWP admitted that it knew he was insulin-dependent.

Now Clapson’s sister, Gill Thompson, has issued a judicial review and human rights claim in the high court, challenging the refusal of the senior coroner for Hertfordshire to hold an inquest into her brother’s death.

Thompson has been campaigning for an inquest to be held in a bid to secure answers and change the sanctions system she believes led to her brother’s death.

She has set up a crowdfunding account to pay for her legal battle, and needs to raise another £7,000 to reach her target.

Source: Sister launches judicial review claim in bid for sanctions death inquest

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6 thoughts on “Sister launches judicial review claim in bid for sanctions death inquest

  1. joanna

    I have never had any family I was taken away from mine when I was 4, but couldn’t she have helped her brother before it got that bad, I know you will probably say it’s pride, but what is more important, saving someone’s pride or saving their life?

    It is just the way I see it, and yes I might be wrong!! But the way I see it,is, she didn’t help her brother then but now wants to cash in.

    I know if he was my brother I would have done what I could especially given that he was type 1 diabetic, even if it meant denting his pride a little and going over his head with the electric!

    I know I am not the only person thinking about this, and yes I don’t care if you think I am callous, but I am so sick and tired of people not helping their own if they can, and then blaming everyone else when tragedy happens!

    I have given away my last tin of beans before now, and that was for a stranger.

    I don’t know much about families, never having been a part of one, but I know if I did I would do what I can, especially if it was a case of live and death.

    Yes the DWP are really screwed up and homicidal, but sometimes people have a responsibility to each other, that way the damage can be minimized and lives can be saved!

  2. Sven Wraight

    Maybe Mr Clapton specifically refused help. Maybe families aren’t always that close, even if they’d rather not see each other murdered by the state, so Ms Thompson may not have known until it was too late, or her help was refused. I don’t know if it’s possible to pay someone else’s bills, so I must leave that matter aside.
    In our Christian country, there is the rampant belief that pride is a sin. This is a gross oversimplification: Mr Clapton may not have wanted to be a burden, or he may have made a mistake about how long he could last (particularly as decisions are difficult when starving). He may not have wanted to bother anyone and having to do so could have tipped him over the edge: this is as likely to be true if his sister is a decent person (he wouldn’t want to be a nuisance) as if she was some sort of monster (he wouldn’t want to waste his time being shot down and/or boosting her ego).
    All of this said, Joanna may be right: there’s just not enough information available to us yet to know.

  3. joanna

    OK if Thompson wasn’t close to her brother, then what gives her the right to take legal action after the fact, to be paid for by strangers? She knew how serious David’s condition was, but she did nothing! I certainly won’t be donating to her fund, I prefare to leave her to live with the choices she made, that only she is responsible for!

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      That is a deplorable attitude.
      You know nothing of the circumstances of this case.
      You prefer to judge in ignorance.
      Appalling.

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